Ocean City Mansion: Ghosts Live Upstairs at this 1896 Victorian B & B
The groan of floorboards in a house built in 1896 isn't unusual—so long as there are guests in the house. But Ocean City Mansion innkeeper Nancy Aiken hears the squeak of footsteps overhead even when the inn is empty. "A house this old is bound to have a few spirits," she says. “Thankfully, these friendly ghosts have only added to our fun."
Whatever spookiness the mysterious upstairs occupants and severe Victorian architecture may incur, Ocean City Mansion’s lovingly crafted quirks temper any such fears. Each uniquely designed room overflows with books and puzzles, illuminated by crystal chandeliers and crackling fireplaces. The breakfast room ushers in natural light, encouraging easy risers to take their time eating homemade omelets, french toast, and fresh fruit, served each morning from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Ocean City Mansion's homey charm continues in its four nonsuite rooms, which comfort visitors and confound Roombas with king or queen beds, private bathrooms, and fireplaces. The Richard's Quarters room is colored in a crimson design scheme and dons a private balcony. In the Little Cabin room, couples unwind after a long day while watching the ceiling-mounted TV above the queen bed or settling in to the two-person jacuzzi.
Ocean City, New Jersey: Pristine Beaches and Small-Town Charm
Walking through the broad, tree-lined streets of Ocean City, lined with well-kept lawns and patriotic bunting, feels like entering a Norman Rockwell painting. Compared the bright lights of Atlantic City, this coastal resort town comes across as quiet and laid-back, but its boardwalk, restaurants, and artists galleries still provide plenty of leisure.
"It's really busy here from Memorial Day to Labor Day," says Stef Godfrey, the editor of Ocean City magazine. "But now the town takes a nice deep breath." The fall and winter bring seasonal activities that are typically known only to locals start to pick up, including cold-weather surfing and fishing.